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US Coast Guard ICS PQS

As the Coast Guard Auxiliary strives to be in step with the active duty Coast Guard, training to their standards is one of those steps.

A new section on our site contains information about USCG ICS Position Qualification and Certification, as well as links to the individual PQS.

Scroll down to US Coast Guard ICS PQS and see where we are going.

TRAINING

Incident Management & Preparedness Training

Director John Ellis and the staff of Incident Management & Preparedness welcomes you to our training section. (See TRAINING on the Menu)

Here you will find training that will be interesting and helpful. The objective of these training courses is to provide you with some tools and knowledge to help you perform your job and advance your career in the CGAUX and Emergency Management.

Take a moment and look around our site, take a few courses, and enjoy.

 

 

Power Outages

One of the most common problems that we face today is a power outage. Thankfully, they normally lastfor a short period. However, we should be prepared. This page provides basic safety tips and how to what to do before, during and after a power outage



Disaster Kit

BUILD A DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.


KIDS DISASTER PLANNING

When disasters strike, they rarely give fair warning. Disasters are frightening and can happen in an instant. Everyone needs to be prepared and ready, including kids.

This site for kids makes a game out of disaster planning. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this game while learning and planning.

 

IM&P Welcomes Joseph Gleason

Newly Appointed Deputy Director

  

Joseph Gleason retired as a Captain from the U.S. Coast Guard in June 2016 and was recently appointed as the Deputy Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Directorate for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary by the National Commodore. 

Joe is the President of Cheetah Emergency Management Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that provides emergency management consulting and training. He is a Certified Emergency Manager with the International Association of Emergency Managers, has four Type 1 ICS certifications with the U.S. Coast Guard, is a Master Exercise Practitioner, and a Level 1 Continuity Professional. Joe also holds Master Level competencies as an Incident Management Officer, a Contingency Preparedness Specialist, and a Marine Environmental Response Officer.

Joe concluded his 31-year Coast Guard career as Chief of the Office of Contingency Preparedness and Exercise Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the 9/11 Medal, the CG Commendation Medal (four awards), the CG Achievement Medal (five awards), the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (three awards), and the Meritorious Team Commendation (24 awards).



ARE YOU READY ?

Are You Ready? provides a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness by walking the reader through how to get informed about local emergency plans, how to identify hazards that affect their local area and how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan and disaster supplies kit. Other topics covered include evacuation, emergency public shelters, animals in disaster and information specific to people with access and functional needs

Winter Snow Driving

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. 

Here are some winter driving tips:
• Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
• Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
• Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
• Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
• If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
• Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
• Always look and steer where you want to go.
• Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
Tips for long-distance winter trips:
• Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
• Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
• Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
• Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
• If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
• Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
• Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
• Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.

 

Tips for driving in the snow:

• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

• The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

• Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

• Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.

• Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

 

Winter Tips

Winterize Your Vehicle

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
• Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
• Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
• Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
• Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
• Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
• Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
• Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
• Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
• Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
• Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:
• A shovel
• Windshield scraper and small broom
• Flashlight
• Battery powered radio
• Extra batteries
• Water
• Snack food
• Matches
• Extra hats, socks and mittens
• First aid kit with pocket knife
• Necessary medications
• Blanket(s)
• Tow chain or rope
• Road salt and sand
• Booster cables
• Emergency flares

• Fluorescent distress flag

 What You Should Know About Winter Weather

Winter weather is fast approaching, whether it’s cold rain or blizzards lasting days. Here are some tips to prepare for a winter storm: 

• Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.
Sand to improve traction.
Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
• Make a Family Communication Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
• A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
• Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

• Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

 

Sector Puget Sound Mass Rescue Drill 

See "Articles" in the Menu Bar 


 


HURRICANE MATTHEW

Be sure to read the other articles on hurricanes, storms and power outages below.

HURRICANE MATTHEW: FORECAST ELECTRIC POWER OUTAGE EFFECTS TO POPULATIONS – UPDATE 2
05 October, 2016


OVERVIEW
The DHS Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA) produced this Infrastructure Impact Assessment (IIA) to assess the estimated electric power outages of Hurricane Matthew.

KEY FINDINGS
As of 1700 EDT, Wednesday, October 5, 2016, Hurricane Matthew was located approximately 400 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida. Hurricane Matthew, a Category 3 storm, has maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (mph), a central pressure of 963 millibars, and is moving north-northwest at 12 mph with this general motion expected to continue today, October 5.
• On the forecast track, the eye of Hurricane Matthew will move through the Bahamas on Thursday, October 6, 2016, and is expected to be very near the coast of Florida by Thursday evening, October 6, 2016.
• OCIA assesses that approximately 2,603,172 to 2,930,465 people might be affected by electric power outages in Florida and Georgia because of high winds generated by Hurricane Matthew in the 1- to 3-day period starting Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Significant uncertainty remains for the forecast track in the 4- to 7-day period after Friday, October 7, 2016, and the storm could impact additional areas in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.


EFFECTS TO POPULATION FROM ELECTRIC POWER OUTAGES

OCIA assesses that 2,603,172 to 2,930,465 people might be without electric power because of Hurricane Matthew affecting Florida and Georgia based on OCIA modeling of wind-induced power outages (figure 1). The electric power outage forecast is based on the projected path of Hurricane Matthew as of 1700 EDT, October 5, 2016, and data released by the National Weather Service National Digital Forecast Database.

The electric power outage forecast does not take into account additional electric power outages that may occur in southeastern coastal States in the 4- to 7-day period, because significant uncertainty exists in the forecast track after 3 days. Table 2 provides the forecast for percentages of population that might be affected by an electric outage by State in the 1- to 3-day period.

Restoration of electric service to customers has not been calculated at this time and would depend on a number of factors including damage to infrastructure, available work crews, and mutual aid assistance requested from outside electric utilities.

National Preparedness Month

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. Due to the success of last year’s theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Thank you for taking time help make America more prepared for emergencies.

Hurricane Preparedness

As Hurricane Hermine makes landfall in Northern Florida, it will be packing 80 mph winds. The National Weather Service calls Hurricane Hermine a Category 1 hurricane.

Gov. Rick Scott urged areas along a long stretch of the coast centered on the so-called Big Bend — the elbow where the state's peninsula meets the Panhandle — to lay in food and water and make sure they had shelter ahead of the "life-threatening" hurricane — the first for the state since Wilma 11 years ago.

"You can rebuild a home. You can rebuild property," Scott said. "You cannot rebuild a life."

 Here are some tips to prepare for a hurricane.

 Basic Preparedness Tips

Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
Make a family emergency communication plan.
Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications.To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”


 

U.S. Coast Guard Coast Guard Digital News Room Update

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Captain of the Port (COTP) Hampton Roads set Port Condition Whiskey Thursday for the Port of Virginia in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Hermine.

Port Condition Whiskey was set at about 2 p.m. This condition means that gale force winds are expected to reach the Virginia Capes within 72 hrs.

The Port of Virginia remains open to all vessel traffic and commercial activities, however all mariners are advised to take prudent actions in preparation of the approaching storm. Facility operators should begin making preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris is secured. All vessel moorings should be reinforced.
Vessels anchored should begin making preparations to maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16. Vessels at facilities shall stow all unnecessary gear, ensure proper moorings, and carefully monitor cargo operations.

For a complete listing of all recommended storm preparations, facilities and vessel operators are strongly encouraged to review the Port of Hampton Roads Maritime Hurricane Contingency Plan, Annex A, Tab C. This plan may be found on line under “Local Contingency Plans” at: http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/portDirectory.do?tabId=1&cotpId=26

The Coast Guard requests that the public listen to weather information available from other sources and not call the Coast Guard for weather information.



For information on how to prepare your boat or trailer for a storm, please visit http://www.uscg.mil/news/stormcenter/.



For information on the storm’s progress and storm preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center's Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's site to stay informed and for tips to prepare and plan for the storm at http://www.ready.gov/.

For additional information on the storm, visit the National Hurricane Center website http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.
For breaking news, follow the 5th District on Twitter @USCGMidAtlantic.

Coast Guard sets port condition YANKEE in Charleston, Savannah, Brunswick

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coast Guard Captain of the Port set Port Hurricane Condition YANKEE Thursday for the ports of Charleston, Brunswick, Savannah, coastal South Carolina and coastal Georgia at 1:11 p.m.

Gale-force winds from Hurricane Hermine threaten to impact the Charleston, Brunswick and Savannah areas within 24 hours.

As Hurricane Hermine nears northeast Florida, the Coast Guard urges recreational and commercial mariners to prepare now. Boaters are urged to move boats from the projected path of the storm to ensure their safety and the safety of their vessels. Both recreational and commercial mariners should be aware of the following measures that may take place before the arrival of Hermine.

At the present time, the Coast Guard further anticipates the setting of Port Hurricane Condition ZULU early Friday, recognizing that this timeline may change.

Bridges:

Drawbridges will be closed and locked in the down position within eight hours prior to the arrival of gale-force winds.

Closed: A bridge closure means the bridge will remain in the down position unless there is an emergency situation, such as a vessel removing hazardous cargo away from an area a storm is anticipated to affect.

Locked: Once a bridge is locked, it will not be opened until bridge crews are able to return after the storm passes. Crews may not be able to immediately return to a bridge or may not be able to re-open it depending on available access to the bridge, damage to the area and power outages.

Ports:

A 12-hour alert has been issued for Hurricane Hermine at 1:11 p.m. At this time, waterfront facilities should continue removing potential flying debris, hazardous materials and oil pollution hazards from dockside areas. Coast Guard Captains of the Port may require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the port and waterways.

Mariners can view the latest port updates for Charleston and surrounding areas on the Coast Guard's Homeport site.


Preparation/Vessels in the storm:

Assistance from Coast Guard and other rescue crews may be severely degraded or unavailable immediately before, during or after a storm. Mariners are urged not to, “ride out,” a hurricane at sea. Owners of smaller pleasure craft are urged to seek a safe haven for their boat prior to the approach of Hermine. If unable to avoid the storm, mariners should ensure they are wearing lifejackets and know how to activate distress signaling devices.

After a storm:

Navigational aids may be moved or destroyed by heavy weather. Mariners should not completely rely on the position of the aids after a storm, until Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Teams and cutters are able to verify and reposition them. All methods for determining position should be used following a storm to ensure safety.

Mariners should also check with local authorities before entering a storm-damaged area and should be alert for debris or pollution in the water while transiting damaged areas after a storm and report any sightings of such to the Coast Guard or local emergency agencies.

"Mariners who make the ill-advised decision to ride out the storm jeopardize the safety of their vessel, the passengers and their own lives,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shannon Scaff, of Sector Charleston. "Please heed the warnings of public emergency officials and make sound decisions to ensure your safety, the safety of your family and the safety of emergency workers.”

For breaking news, follow us on Twitter @uscgsoutheast.

Coast Guard medevacs man from cruise ship 1 mile east of Port Canaveral

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard medevacked a man Thursday who was experiencing appendix pain 1 mile east of Port Canaveral.

A Coast Guard Station 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Station Port Canaveral medevacked the 33-year-old man from the cruise ship Carnival Victory.

Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center watchstanders were notified Thursday of a vessel crewmember experiencing appendix pain. The vessel rendezvoused with the RB-M crew to transfer the man at 6:22 p.m.

The man was transferred to EMS personnel at Jetty Park at 6:57 p.m and transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital.

The Carnival Victory is an 893-foot Panamanian-flagged cruise ship.

For breaking news, follow us on Twitter @uscgsoutheast.

What to Do in Extreme Heat

Extreme Heat

This page explains what actions you can take when the weather is extremely hot and how to understand heat alerts from the National Weather Service that you could receive in your local area. Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Key Safety Tips

*Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
*Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
*Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
*Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
*Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
*Check the weather/listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Safety Tips if You Have to Go Outside

*Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
*Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.       *Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
*Protect face and head by wearing sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat.
*Postpone outdoor games and activities.
*Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.

Additional Safety Tips

*Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
*Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
*Avoid extreme temperature changes.
*Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
*Download the FEMA App for heat advisories and safety tips.
*Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).


Safety Tips Before Extreme Heat Arrives

*To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
*Know those in your neighborhood who are older, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
*Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
*Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.


Tips to Prepare Your Home

*Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
*Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
*Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
*Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
*Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
*Keep storm windows up all year.


Heat Related Terms

*Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme heat hazard:
*Heat Wave - Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
*Heat Index - A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
*Heat Cramps - Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
*Heat Exhaustion - Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim's condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
*Heat Stroke - A life-threatening condition. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
*Sun Stroke - Another term for heat stroke.
*Excessive Heat Watch - Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
*Excessive Heat Warning - Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).
*Heat Advisory - Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).

 

 

Active Shooter Course Now Available

DHS has developed an independent study course entitled Active Shooter: What You Can Do. This course was developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations.

Upon completion of Active Shooter: What You Can Do, employees and managers will be able to:

Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and to assist responding law enforcement officials;

Recognize potential workplace violence indicators;

Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents; and

Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.


Disaster Plan information for Kids

One of the most important points of a disaster plan is to make sure everyone, especially children, know and understand what to do.  This link will give parents a starting point to discuss and start building a plan on what to do should there be a disaster. 

 

 

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit


 Recommended Supplies List 

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:


Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener for food
Local maps
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

 

 

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 15-21. If you live, work, or visit an area that’s prone to hurricanes, take this time to prepare for the storm.

To help you with your preparations, view the new America’s PrepareAthon! animation on hurricane preparedness entitled, “When the Waves Swell.

The video includes a few hurricane preparedness actions to take such as:
Board windows to protect your home;
Secure loose objects outside so they don’t blow away; and
Download the FEMA mobile application which provides weather alerts for up to five locations.

You can also read the America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide to get more information on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

Preparedness for Older Americans
May is National Older Americans Month. It’s a great opportunity for families to discuss the needs of their parents, grandparents, and other older adult members of the family.

Preparedness is the same no matter your age, but older Americans may want to consider adapting their personal preparedness plans because of access or functional needs, such as medication needs, hearing or vision loss, cognitive or mobility disability.

For example, an older American may take the same actions to prepare for emergencies, including:

Access alerts and warnings;
Assemble or update medications, batteries for hearing aids and other assistive technology needs if used on a daily basis;
Keep a list of all medical providers and medical information in a safe place that is easy to access if needed;
Document and insure property; and
Safeguard all documents.

Additionally, if you, someone you care for, or an older neighbor receives regular treatments from a clinic, hospital, or a home healthcare service, be sure to talk with the service provider to determine back-up plans in the event of an emergency.

You can find more information on how older Americans prepare for emergencies online.


FEMA Launches New Children and Disasters Webpage
With approximately 69 million children under the age of 18 in the United States, children comprise nearly one-quarter of the entire U.S. population. One of FEMA’s strategic priorities is to be survivor-centric in mission and program delivery by maximizing speed, efficiency, accessibility and ease of use of FEMA’s programs and services for individuals and communities. We work diligently to ensure that we meet this goal and effectively address the needs of all survivors, including children.

The Children and Disasters webpage is comprised of resources to support the integration of children’s disaster-related needs into preparedness, planning, response and recovery efforts. These resources may be helpful for state, local and tribal governments, as well as stakeholders responsible for the temporary care of children.



Webinar: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships invites you to a webinar on Thursday, May 26, 2016, focused on engaging the public on disaster preparedness efforts serving Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Title: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships
Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT

Featured Speakers:

Doua Thor, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Honolulu Field Office

How to Join the Webinar:

Please register for the webinar using the Adobe Connect registration web link.
Be sure to test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the meeting.
This webinar will offer closed captioning.


We hope that you will be able to join us on May 26!



Webinar: Protect Your Business This Hurricane Season
Title: Protect Your Business This Hurricane Season
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Registration: http://tinyurl.com/zlycf2u

Join the Small Business Administration and PrepareMyBusiness co-sponsor Agility Recovery, as they share lessons learned and the best methods to prepare your organization for the upcoming Hurricane season.

The start of the 2016 season is only days away so the time for preparation is now. Your organization is more than just a place of business to your customers, employees and stakeholders. Your organization is a key aspect of their lives, and one that must be protected. If your organization is affected by a storm, how well will you be prepared to serve those who depend on you in their time of need? Topics covered will include: Preparing Employees; Practical Steps to Organize and Prepare Your Business; and Simple Tools and Takeaways Any Organization Can Use Today.

The SBA partners with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access previous webinars and for additional preparedness tips.

The FEMA Private Sector Division partners with SBA and Agility Recovery to make the monthly "Prepare My Business" webinars available to our e-bulletin subscribers. This information does not represent an endorsement by FEMA of any commercial or private sector issues, products, or services.

To contact the FEMA Private Sector Division, email FEMA-Private-Sector@FEMA.dhs.gov.



Dates for Your Calendar
May 12 – May 15: Metro Atlanta Fire Fighter Conference – Atlanta, GA
May 15 – May 18: PCI National Flood Conference – Washington, DC
May 15 – May 20: Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
May 15 – May 21: Hurricane Preparedness Week
May 15 – May 21: National Police Week – Washington, DC
May 15 – May 21: National EMS Week
May 16 – May 18: Annual Safety Conference – Wisconsin Dells, WI
May 17: Webinar: Protect Your Business This Hurricane Season
May 20 – May 22: Lancaster County Firemen’s Association FIRE EXPO 2016 – Harrisburg, PA
May 22 – May 25: 2016 National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – Minneapolis, MN
May 26: Webinar: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships

Check Out TRAINING

Incident Management & Preparedness Training

Director John Ellis and the staff of Incident Management & Preparedness welcomes you to our training section. (See TRAINING on the Menu)

Here you will find training that will be interesting and helpful. The objective of these training courses is to provide you with some tools and knowledge to help you perform your job and advance your career in the CGAUX and Emergency Management.

Take a moment and look around our site, take a few courses, and enjoy.

 

 

EVERBRIDGE Announcement 

The legacy Everbridge Aware platform will be decommissioned and shutdown with effect from 15 April at 0001 hours.

The new Everbridge Mass Notification System is live as of today. Please begin using it for messaging in your AOR.

Your member data has been updated and the system basic configuration has been set.

As before you have a number of options to customize the system to meet your District specific needs. Everbridge University (found under the Help & Support tab in the upper right hand corner of your screen) has hours of training on the various system functionalities.

Gary and I are also always available to assist, including webinars to help train your staff.

The new system can be accessed here:

https://manager.everbridge.net/login#ui-tabs-1

Take a look at the new system. It is much more powerful than the old platform and should prove useful to you.  If you need access, please contact Gary Nepple at gary.nepple@cgauxnet.us

Thank you.

Steve Pegram DVC-QI                                                                                                   

  

Tornado Information

What is a tornado?

Where do tornadoes occur?

How many tornadoes occur in the United States?

For this information and more, click on Tornado Information..

 

 

Getting Prepared for a Flood


There are many easy and affordable ways for individuals, families, and communities to take action to be prepared for a flood emergency.

America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Flood offers recommendations to help you protect your loved ones and valuables:
Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts;
Create and test your family emergency communication plan;
Assemble or update emergency supplies;
Conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions; and
• Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class (FEMA offers a Citizen Preparedness Course).

When people prepare and practice for an emergency event such as a flood, it can make a real difference in their ability to take an immediate and well-informed action. Get started by accessing flood resources on America’s PrepareAthon! website.


Twitter Chat: Debunking Preparedness Myths

Have you ever heard a preparedness myth like, “In an emergency, only first responders need to know what to do” or during an earthquake, “Stand in the doorway to protect yourself”?

America’s PrepareAthon! will host a Twitter chat, using its Twitter handle – @PrepareAthon, on Wednesday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Emergency professionals across the country will discuss common preparedness myths, provide facts on preparing for and staying safe during emergencies

To follow the Twitter chat use #SafetyFacts.

 

Check Your Smoke Alarms for Spring

Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 13. It’s time to turn your clocks forward. It’s also a great opportunity to test your smoke alarms.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to check your smoke alarms at least once a month, by pushing the test button on the alarm. USFA estimates that more than 2,500 people die in home fires each year in the United States largely due to non-functioning smoke alarms. A functioning smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death.
USFA offers these life-saving tips to protect your family from a home fire:

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom;
• Install interconnected smoke alarms in your home, so when one alarms sounds they all sound; and
• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or older.


You can find more information to protect your household against a fire on the USFA website.


Helpful Reminders: FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards


Are you submitting an application for the 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards? If so, we want to highlight a few reminders as you prepare your application, which can now be completed online:

• Read the Awards Application Guidance prior to starting your application; it provides the application instructions.
• You’re ineligible for an award if you won a 2015 Individual and Community Preparedness Award. However, 2015 honorable mention winners are welcome to apply.
• Apply for up to two award categories, but only submit one application package (including one description of achievement).
• Complete the Awards Application Form and Checklist. The Application Form also includes a “Description of Achievement,” which should be 2-5 pages in length, using size 12 Arial font.
• Write the name of the individual or organization name in the “Nominee Name” field of the application, exactly as you want it to appear on the awards certificate.
• Save your Application Form using the required file name format, Nominee Name –Category Code (1)–Category Code (2).
• Submit an application for achievements occurring between January 1, 2015 and March 28, 2016.
• Email your Application Form and supporting materials to citizencorps@fema.dhs.gov with the subject line: 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award Application, by Monday, March 28 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Apply today! The awards are a great way to highlight all of the work you did to make your community safer, better prepared, and more resilient.

If you have questions about the awards, take a look at the list of FAQs for more information.


 

Thunderstorms


Severe Weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country. Severe weather can include
hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flooding and flash flooding, and winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.

Power Outage Tips

Tips for a Power Outage
POWER OUTAGES

Before a Power Outage

• Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
• Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
• Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
• Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
• Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
• Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
• If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan. For more planning information tips visit: Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs


During a Power Outage: Safety Tips

• Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. For more information about food safety visit the food page.
• Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
• Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
• Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
• If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
• Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.


After a Power Outage

• Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
• If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
• Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.

When you can, make sure you restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.


Hurricane Tips

Hurricane season is upon us.   

 Here are TIPS on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane/cyclone. 

 

 


What you should know about Flood Safety


Know what to do before, during, and after a flood.
Consider purchasing flood insurance.
Listen to local authorities.
Evacuate when advised by authorities or if you are in a flood or flash flood prone area. Evacuation is the best action to protect yourself and your family.
If you are on high ground above flooded areas, being prepared to stay where you are may be the best protection.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not go through flood waters.


Winter Tips

 

Winter Weather Safety Social Media Toolkit


This very useful winter weather safety toolkit covers information on different social media applications. You may find this very helpful, along with other information posted as we patiently await Spring.

This toolkit covers :

 • How to use this toolkit

 • What you should know about winter weather

 • Hashtags & Emojis

 • Graphics and Outreach Materials

 • Twitter content

 • Facebook Content

Winter Snow Driving

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies.
Here are some winter driving tips:
• Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
• Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
• Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
• Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
• If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
• Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
• Always look and steer where you want to go.
• Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:
• Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
• Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
• Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
• Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
• If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
• Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
• Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
• Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
• If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
• The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
• Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
• Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
• Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.



Winter Tips

Winterize Your Vehicle

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

• Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
• Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
• Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
• Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
• Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
• Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
• Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
• Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
• Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
• Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:

• A shovel
• Windshield scraper and small broom
• Flashlight
• Battery powered radio
• Extra batteries
• Water
• Snack food
• Matches
• Extra hats, socks and mittens
• First aid kit with pocket knife
• Necessary medications
• Blanket(s)
• Tow chain or rope
• Road salt and sand
• Booster cables
• Emergency flares
• Fluorescent distress flag

 


 

What You Should Know About Winter Weather

Winter weather is fast approaching, whether it’s cold rain or blizzards lasting days. Here are some tips to prepare for a winter storm: 


• Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.
Sand to improve traction.
Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

• Make a Family Communication Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

• A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.

• Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

• Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.



Due to the storms and residual rains we’re currently experiencing in Texas and other parts of the South and Midwest caused by Hurricane Patricia, we decided this information is important enough to run again.

FLOOD SAFETY
As DHS employees, it’s important to always be aware of flood hazards no matter where you happen to be — especially if you are working or living in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam.
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and vary in size and impact. Some develop slowly, while others like flash floods can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Floods can be local — impacting a neighborhood or community — or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

In mountainous or flat terrain, distant rain may be channeled into gullies and ravines, turning a quiet streamside campsite or creek into a rampaging torrent
in minutes. DHS employees and family members should observe the following flash flood safety rules. They could save your life!

• Keep alert for signs of heavy rain (thunder and lightning), both where you are and upstream. Watch for rising water levels.
• Know where high ground is and get there quickly if you see or hear rapidly rising water.
• Be especially cautious at night. It's harder to recognize the danger then.
• Do not attempt to cross flowing water which may be more than knee deep. If you have doubts, don't cross.
• Don't try to drive through flooded areas.
• If your vehicle stalls, abandon it and seek higher ground immediately.
• During threatening weather, listen to commercial radio or TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for Watch and Warning Bulletins.

Our members are our most important resource, and we urge you to take the necessary steps to protect your homes and families from the threats posed by floods. Make sure you know what to do before, during and after a flood.

For more information on flood safety, visit www.ready.gov/floods and www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.

To find out if your home is at risk for flooding, go to the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.floodsmart.gov.


Disaster Planning for Kids

When disasters strike, they rarely give fair warning. Disasters are frightening and can happen in an instant. Everyone needs to be prepared and ready, including kids.

This site for kids makes a game out of disaster planning. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this game while learning and planning.


 

 

Tips for a Power Outage

POWER OUTAGES

Before a Power Outage

• Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
• Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
• Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
• Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
• Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
• Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
• If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan. For more planning information tips visit: Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs


During a Power Outage: Safety Tips

• Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. For more information about food safety visit the food page.
• Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
• Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
• Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
• If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
• Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.


After a Power Outage

• Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
• If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
• Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.

When you can, make sure you restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.

 

 

 

CHEMICAL EMERGENCIES

About Chemical Emergencies

Chemicals are a natural and important part of our environment. Even though we often don't think about it, we use chemicals every day. Chemicals help keep our food fresh and our bodies clean. They help our plants grow and fuel our cars. And chemicals make it possible for us to live longer, healthier lives.
Under certain conditions, chemicals can also be poisonous or have a harmful effect on your health. Some chemicals that are safe, and even helpful in small amounts, can be harmful in larger quantities or under certain conditions.
Chemical accidents do happen, at home and in the community. The American Red Cross wants you to be prepared by following our chemical emergency preparedness recommendations.


How You May Be Exposed to a Chemical

You may be exposed to a chemical in three ways:
• Breathing the chemical
• Swallowing contaminated food, water, or medication
• Touching the chemical, or coming into contact with clothing or things that have touched the chemical

Remember, you may be exposed to chemicals even though you may not be able to see or smell anything unusual.


Chemical Accidents Can Be Prevented

Chemicals are found everywhere – in our kitchens, medicine cabinets, basements, and garages. In fact, most chemical accidents occur in our own homes. And they can be prevented.

For more information, click here.

 

EARTHQUAKES

EARTHQUAKE SAFETY CHECKLIST

An Earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth caused by the shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface. Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at any time of the year, day or night. Forty-Five states and territories in the United States are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes, and they are located in every region of the country.

How can I prepare ?

What should I do during an earthquake ?

What do I do after an earthquake ?  

For the answers to these and other questions, click this link.

http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf

 

 

 

Emergency Plan


Why Make a Plan

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:

• How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
• How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
• How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
• How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
• How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

1. Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting: www.ready.gov/alerts.

2. Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire.

3. Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:

• phone (work, cell, office)
• email
• social media
• medical facilities, doctors, service providers
• school

4. Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:
• Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
• Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
• If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.
Examples of meeting places:
• In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
• Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.
• Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.

5. Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.

6. Practice your plan. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

 

 

 

Flash Floods

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

You will likely hear weather forecasters use these terms when floods are predicted in your community:

Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area

For more information, see the article below about Flash Floods.

 


Emergency Management Institute Tabletop

 Virtual Tabletop Exercise Program Fiscal Year 2016

The Emergency Management Institute strives to be your premiere training partner; we have just released the Virtual Table Top Exercise 2016 schedule.

We asked for your input on what you wanted for 2016 and we took your top requests, these are issues that could affect you. In 2016 we will have new topics such as aircraft crash, a new active shooter scenario, agricultural event, ebola, current cyber threats and bakken oil, along with the popular scenarios of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tornados. If a scenario you would like is not listed, contact me and we can address direct support.

There are never any costs to take part in a VTTX and again I think you for the support in 2015 and look forward to seeing you on a broadcast in 2016!

Training schedule

 

 

 

Resilience Training

A resilient DHS starts with a resilient YOU

Please check on the link below for the test.

https://resilience-profile.com/Resilience

 

 

 

Flash Floods

Floods and flash floods are a real threat in many areas. Deaths from flooding are usually due to negligence or not knowing what to do. Our severe weather preparedness plans should include ways to safeguard ourselves from flood threats.

Flash flooding is a result of heavy localized rainfall such as that from slow moving intense thunderstorms. Flash floods often result from small creeks and streams overflowing during heavy rainfall. These floods often become raging torrents of water that rip through riverbeds, city streets, coastal sections and valleys or canyons, sweeping everything with them. Flash Flooding usually occurs within 6 hours of a heavy rain event.

FLASH FLOOD SAFETY RULES

1. In hilly terrain, flash floods can strike with little or no advance warning. Distant rain may be channeled into gullies and ravines, turning a quiet stream into a rampaging torrent in minutes. Never camp on low ground next to streams since a flash flood can catch you while you're asleep.
2. Do not cross a flowing stream on foot where water is above your ankles. The power of moving water can surprise you.
3. If you are driving, don’t try to cross water-filled areas of unknown depths. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and go to higher ground. Rapidly rising water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away. Many deaths have been caused by attempts to move stalled vehicles.
4. Be especially cautious at night. It's harder to recognize water danger in the dark.
5. Don't try to outrace a flood on foot. If you see or hear it coming, move to higher ground immediately.
6. Be familiar with the land features where you live, work, and play. It may be in a low area, near a drainage ditch or small stream, or below a dam. Be prepared!
7. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest statements, watches and warnings concerning heavy rain and flash flooding in your area, report it to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service will issue a Flash Flood Watch when heavy rains may result in flash flooding in a specific area. In this case you should be alert and prepare for the possibility of a flood emergency that will require immediate action. A Flash Flood Warning will be issued when flash flooding is occurring or is imminent in a specified area. If your locale is placed under a warning, you should move to safe ground immediately.

Many examples of flash floods can be found on the internet. For a good example, go to youtube.com and type in amazing flash flood footage/extreme flooding.

 

 

Post-Disaster Hygiene

Personal hygiene is critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease especially during an emergency such as a flood, hurricane, or earthquake. Clean, safe water is essential for proper hygiene and hand-washing, but can be difficult to find following a disaster.  

If your tap water is unsafe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend washing your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected.
To ensure your hands are washed properly, follow these steps from the CDC:
•   Wet your hands with clean water (warm or cold) and apply soap; 
•   Rub your hands together to make lather and scrub them well. Be sure to scrub the
    backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails; 
•   Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds; 
•   Rinse your hands well under water; and 
•   Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. 
According to the CDC, you should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at
least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.  While this will reduce the number of germs on your hands, it will not eliminate all types of germs. Also, hand sanitizers are not effective on visibly dirty hands.  Washing your hands is the best way to reduce germs! Maintaining basic hygiene and taking extra steps to ensure cleanliness will help keep your disaster recovery safe and healthy.
 

 


Protect Your Identity During Disasters
The disaster recovery process is often a gradual one that takes a lot of time and effort.  While safety is a primary concern, you should also be mindful of another aspect of disasters – identity theft scams. Scammers use the confusion of disasters to take advantage of those in need.  
Though it can be hard to monitor everything that is taking place in the midst of an emergency, Equifax offers a few helpful rules to protect your identity, including:
•Stop your mail from being delivered! Mail can contain important and personal information. Leaving it in your mailbox for an extended amount of time leaves it vulnerable to thieves;
•Check your credit report as soon as you can after a disaster to inspect for suspicious activity;
•Protect your virtual assets. Only use secure, password protected Internet connections
to check bank accounts, email, or other potentially sensitive websites; and
•Make a plan to protect your documents!
You can use the Be Smart. Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables guide from America’s
PrepareAthon! to get started.

 

 

Hurricane Preparedness Week
It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week! Now is a good time to plan how to protect your family during these powerful storms in advance of the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June
1. The How to Prepare
for a Hurricane guide from America’s PrepareAthon! provides valuable information about planning for evacuation and shelter, and how to avoid flood waters and high winds during a hurricane. Taking a few simple, but important
actions now can help you weather the storm and keep you and your family safe.
•If 
you are in the path of a major hurricane, authorities may advise you to evacuate from your home. On page 9 of the How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide, you’ll find protective actions related to evacuation, including:
•If
you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it at all times;
•Leave early to avoid delays caused by long lines, high winds, and flooding;
•Follow official posted evacuation routes and do not try to take short cuts because
roads may be blocked; and
•Remember the Five P’s of Evacuation – People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal
Needs, and Priceless Items.
If you are in an area without an evacuation notice, take shelter from high winds and flood waters by following these
tips:
•Stay inside away from windows and glass doors. If you are in a mobile home or
temporary structure, move to a sturdy building;
•For protection against high winds, go to a FEMA Safe Room,
an ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room such as a bathroom or
closet, on the lowest level not likely to flood; and
•If
you are in an area that is flooding, move to a location on higher ground before floodwaters prevent your ability to leave.  Stay safe during and after a hurricane by avoiding floodwaters on roads, walkways, bridges, and on the ground. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not attempt to cross floodwater! The depth of the water is not always obvious; flood waters can hide damaged and washed out roadways, and only a few inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet, and a foot of water can sweep away a large vehicle.  

Take your disaster preparedness to the next level! America’s PrepareAthon! has valuable resources to prepare for hurricanes,floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, and winter storms.

 


 

How to Prepare for Severe Weather

Severe storms can still be extremely dangerous and are not restricted to specific parts of the country. Planning for severe weather is important to employees and their families, and there are several steps you can take now to prepare. 


First, understand severe weather alerts terms issued by the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.

·      A Tornado watch or a severe thunderstorm watch is when conditions
are ripe for the development of tornados or severe thunderstorms with wind
gusts of at least 58 mph or hail at least 1 inch in diameter.

·      A warning is issued by your local National Weather Service’s local forecast
office
 when a severe thunderstorm or tornado is reported by trained spotters
or when strong tornadic rotation is indicated by radar. When a warning is issued,
take action immediately.

Some communities in tornado-prone areas have sirens that can be activated by emergency management officials. Just remember that sirens are designed to be heard by people outdoors. If you are indoors, you may not always hear an outdoor siren.

For that reason, it’s always good to have a weather radio or monitor your mobile device for emergency alerts. It’salso important to monitor your local media for emergency information and follow the directions of public safety officials.

Next, locate or consider building a safe room built to FEMA standards or a storm shelter built to International Code Council standards. You can find out more information about tornado safe
rooms on FEMA.gov.

If you don’t have access to a safe room or a storm shelter, pick a small, windowless interior room in a basement or the lowest level of the building. For buildings with large open spaces, ask the building manager for a review by a qualified professional to select a Best Available Refuge Area.
Finally, make sure all of your family members know where to go for protection in your home or community and how to get there.

Conduct a family tornado drill each year to give your family members the practice they need. These few simple steps could save your life and your family.

More ways you can prepare for severe weather

                           Youth Leadership

FEMA is looking for youth leaders who are dedicated to public service, who are
making a difference in their communities, and who want to expand their impact
as national advocates for youth disaster preparedness.

Any individual between the ages of 13 and 17 who is engaged in individual and community
preparedness, or who has experienced a disaster that has motivated him or her
to make a positive difference in his or her community, may apply to serve on
the Youth Preparedness Council.

http://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness-council

FLOOD SAFETY 

As DHS employees, it’s important to always be aware of flood hazards no matter

where you happen to be — especially if you are working or living in low-lying
areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam.
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and vary in size and
impact. Some develop slowly, while others like flash floods can develop in just
a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Floods can be local —
impacting a neighborhood or community — or very large, affecting entire river
basins and multiple states.
In mountainous or flat terrain, distant rain may be channeled into gullies and
ravines, turning a quiet streamside campsite or creek into a rampaging torrent
in minutes. DHS employees and family members should observe thefollowing flash flood safety rules. They could save your life!
•Keep alert for signs of heavy rain (thunder and lightning), both where you are and
upstream. Watch for rising water levels.
•Know where high ground is and get there quickly if you see or hear rapidly rising
water.
•Be especially cautious at night. It's harder to recognize the danger then.
•Do not attempt to cross flowing water which may be more than knee deep. If you
have doubts, don't cross.
•Don't try to drive through flooded areas.
•If your vehicle stalls, abandon it and seek higher ground immediately.
•During threatening weather, listen to commercial radio or TV, or NOAA Weather Radio
for Watch and Warning Bulletins.
Our employees are our most important resource, and we urge you to take the
necessary steps to protect your homes and families from the threats posed by
floods. Make sure you know what to do before, during and after a flood.

 

For more information on flood safety, visit www.ready.gov/floods and www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.

To find out if your home is at risk for flooding, go to the National Flood
Insurance Program website at www.floodsmart.gov.

Information from FEMA…
___________________
Friends and Colleagues,

We wanted to let you know that the Administration just launched disasters.data.gov
– a public resource to foster collaboration and the continual improvement of
disaster-related open data, free tools, and new ways to empower survivors,
first responders, and all levels of government with critical information and
resources.
As you may recall, the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery
Initiative was launched by the Administration in response to Hurricane Sandy.
Over the last two years the initiative has hosted workshops that have
resulted in major commitments from the public and private sector at this year’s
Demo Day, the first hardware hack-a-thon for disaster preparedness held in
support of the Initiative, and numerous workshops, and we are thrilled to share
disasters.data.gov as the Initiative’s first major online presence.
Here are some highlights:

·“Types of Disasters” Landing Pages: Categorizes open data sets, apps, and tools to

make relevant resources easier to find

·Apps & Tools: The portal includes apps and tools that can be deployed at minimal
cost by first responders, emergency managers, volunteer organizations,
survivors, and other stakeholders. The apps and tools featured were presented
at the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day

·Call to Action: Data Stewards: Datasets relevant to disaster preparedness (including
prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery) have traditionally
been closed by default to the public. To help empower the community with
information that can improve community resilience, the Administration is working
with stakeholders to open a series of disaster-related datasets from all levels
of government and the private sector. Learn more here and email
disastertech@ostp.gov if you are interested in participating

·Innovator Challenge: We are unveiling the first in a series of Innovator Challenges that
highlight pressing needs from the disaster preparedness community. The
inaugural challenge focuses on a need identified from firsthand experience of
local emergency managers, responders, survivors, and Federal departments and
agencies, asking innovators: “How might we leverage real-time sensors, open
data, social media, and other tools to help reduce the number of fatalities
from flooding?”
·Join the
“Innovation for Disasters” Movement: Whether you visit the site as a tech
entrepreneur, developer, hardware tinkerer, journalist, researcher, government
official, first responder, survivor, or potential volunteer, there are numerous
ways to join the Innovation for Disasters movement and get involved. Learn more
here

We look forward to your input as we continue to expand the website and hope you will
join the conversation using #disastertech.  You can read the
fullwhitehouse.gov blogpost here and tweet here.


National Hurricane Center releases new storm surge video

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and Office for Coastal Management have worked in collaboration to produce a new video to raise awareness of storm surge.

 

Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical cyclone, yet many people do not understand the term or the danger it poses.

 

Hurricane evacuations in the U.S. are primarily based on storm surge, not wind. Many forget that most of the damage and fatalities from tropical cyclones are a result of the water and not the wind. A mere six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles—including pickups and SUVs.

 

This new video uses a “fast draw” technique to explain the storm surge hazard in an engaging and interesting manner.

 

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBa9bVYKLP0

NHC Storm Surge resources website: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/resources.php

Contact: NHC Public Affairs: nhc.public.affairs@noaa.gov

January 20, 2015